Saturday, April 28, 2012


Here they are, forty or fifty half and third yard pieces of vintage damask of varying weights, a few pieces of high quality cotton muslin and a little linen. They will just be poaching out here in the sun until Friday. I've never set a lot of store by the notion of batching dyed goods; that is, giving them time to acquire color (or not). Several notable dyers have posited that whatever is going to happen will happen in two to four hours. Now we'll see what five days looks like.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Brewing a good time

the pieces of black damask and linen from yesterday came out just as I wanted them..the greenish cast in this photo is bounce from the outside lawn/trees light. The non color is dense and actually warm. Photographing anything made with this will be trixy.

Below is the wet table mopper from the session I just finished out on the dye deck. My current colors have been jacked up, doped sideways and titillated to the max. There is  Bloody Bordeaux, Monkeys Blood, Bile, several Blues from Beyond, Indigo Hell, Yell-ow and Grape Grotto among others.

The remaining vintage cloths are in the sauce waiting and tomorrow everything will be put together with Jazz & Heart and left to stew and fritter until I get back from New York on Friday. That's right read it correctly. Steeping for almost a week..a record for this hasty, impatient colorista.

And now to try to scrub the green off my feet so I can wear sandals on the plane..don't want to be accused of having something odd going on bodywise.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

blues on the line

Sure..hang things on the line and just watch the storm clouds gather. Oh well, what's one more rinse.

 I'm busy gathering bits and pieces for Jude's Contemporary Boro class that starts tomorrow. A thing on my mind will require some pieces of black and I have zero pieces of hand dyed black cloth, so, there's an experiment brewing out on the dyedeck right now. I mixed dry dye powders that no longer had readable said "JET something". Hope  it wasn't jet fuel. It looked black and got blacker as I blended in other things. Fingers crossed, results tomorrow.


Letting these drain off before a trip through the wash cycle. Out of superstition, I'll wash the yellow one separately, by hand.

Driving through the neighborhood yesterday I was reminded that we are infested with bluebirds here. If you take the time to notice, driving or walking, almost every little flit of wing is a flash of bright blue. It's a habitat thing -  there are older trees everywhere with lot's of nesting places and there must be something tasty out there that draws and keeps them.

And who knew that all these years we've been harboring an international film star  !!! He'll be starting his own blog before you know it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

back to balmy

Ever the deviant, I scared m'self a bit and had to interject a little wackiness. I'll just leave these outside today to soak up the heat. No doubt,  I will go upstairs to the studio and unearth a big basket of blues later today. But first, a's been a busy day and will be a very late night. With a nod to the natural dyers out there...these jars were full of rainwater that had some algae getting started and some things swimming around  I when added the dye stock and cloth wet with soda ash.

I think I may be making another ocean.

Monday, April 23, 2012

stalled and shivering

not my pictures...just the colors in my head.

After working on putting fabric sets together for the store, I find I'm woefully short on blues...unless there's a basket in here someplace that I've overlooked. The one bright blue I did find was a piece of silk..almost no damask. Oversight!
These are the colors I wanted to go after this weekend past but the whole dyefest is on hold until later in the week when the temps return to normal. It feels like February!

Instead, this morning I have a handful of entry calls to look at and hopefully act on. It's been too long since I've put my work out for public consumption. Short of draping a quilt over the trunk of my car and driving around town, no one would know what I do these days. Sometimes I wonder myself.

For those who have asked about  the writing- it is stalled because the story I was working on has come unmoored. I had no real plan in the first place and nothing annoys me more than a story that spins into dust and leaves me scratching my head and being pissed off.  I know I can think my way through the mystery maze to a satisfactory ending but there are so many distractions right now. I used to scoff at the notion that writers need to sequester themselves away, like a stint in stir, in order to get anything worthwhile written. No more.

 Which leads me to watching "Drive" yesterday afternoon which  I really liked on a lot of levels BUT..without spoiling it I'll say what I always tell my husband when we finish watching a film that didn't resolve well..."Hollywood- they musta ran out of money or coke."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

out of the Wood

The day is fresh and breezy..too fresh to do anything on the dyedeck. I put a bunch of things into the soda ash solution last night in anticipation of a day spent working the colors but it's barely 70 and experience has taught me that I would be beyond aggravated with the results if I was expecting any thing other than pastels and I have Vivid and Exuberant colors on my mind.  I will abide. The summers in Georgia are long and hot and I have a few experiments in mind that call for dry fabric. Later I'll fish a few of the larger pieces out of the soup and hang them up to dry.

I'm finally taking a serious whack at getting the studio in order, drifts of finished work, UFOs and raw materials cavort unchecked. The guest bedroom will be opening up soon and I want to be ready to move.

 The morning task was to finishing re-photographing some older pieces and getting the store inventory in order. If I must say so, there are some inspired groupings and I re-cherry-picked the whole lot and kept a few more for my own purposes. That chore out of the way, and the big sewing machine unearthed, I pulled "The Wood" from the wall and faced it, envelope style, and while not completely sacrificing the wonkiness of the edges, it's ready for some quilting/embroidery.

Now I'm going to select some threads, load the little basket and find a comfy spot to sit and  stitch once the game comes on. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

a day in the fiber mine

You're in for it now!

Eleven new sets, each prettier than the next, up and available today over at Random Acts of Dyeness. 

Now it's time to chill with a new book "the Story of Edgar Sawtelle". So far it makes me think of Annie Dillard. I'm hooked.

Later I'll be hand tossing my own pizzas for dinner ..sorry no film, it's not a pretty sight but the results are always tasty. I do promise to sweep the floor and turn off the ceiling fan before I begin.

an art day

Wait wait...did they win?

 I fell asleep in the middle of the game last night. yes 9-1. good on ya Bravos. Now I can carry on with my day once I finish this cup of coffee.

Had to set this piece aside last night because I was stitching while tired and twice stabbed m'self bloody and didn't want to have to wash the thing half finished. There 's not enough light to stitch by yet this morning so there are two large baskets of hand dyes  beside me for divvying up into new cloth burritos since the store is about wiped out (thank you!)

Here's hoping the temps lift out of the sixties later because I'd also like to get a new batch of cloth into the dyepots.

I had the most realistic and complex dream last night - the kind of dream where a long forgotten unfinished piece of business comes together with a bow on it as if written by some master storyteller. In the morning the world looks different.

Yesterday I was moved to silliness and tears repeatedly by both of these videos here and here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

great tool

When I took them up to the register and asked the price I can't recall if she said "69 or 88 cents each". All I could say was "I'll take them both!". I must have a half dozen measuring tapes snaking around the studio someplace not ever where I recall putting them.

A full 1.5" wide and .25" thick, this is an old school tool. If a teacher cut you a lick with one like this you would surely remember the lesson. These days, they would be jailed for assault.

With a tight, smooth grain I'll forgive the advertising and  store it over the door frame to keep it from warping or ask my resident carpenter to drill a hole so I can hang it up. 

Rush on down!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This is what you do when you are trapped in place with nothing but a crochet needle and a ball of cotton string.

These are the originals. The softie on the left is my thread catcher and the one on the right was saturated with watery acrylic paint and now feels like a little wooden basket. I use it as a catch-all on my desk. These are a bit smaller than the ones I've been making lately.

Look what Deanna has done with hers!

a post full of grace...

and some pure joy

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

fixing a hole

It was supposed to be rainy today; a sit and stitch day, but sunshine and gardening took precedence. All the places that sell baby plants in the spring are now putting all the neglected leftovers on sale for half price. You should see them after a good watering in a permanent location!  Pictures will follow.

I picked this up this early and did one hole but couldn't stay with it. I'm a little down and anxious because my Mom is not doing well. I need to make a trip to see her soon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

dear gallery visitors

"Limbo"  (38"x68")
According to stats there's been quite the rush at my main gallery lately. Thanks for stopping by! Rumors of my passing or incarceration have been greatly exaggerated.  If anyone has any questions or would like additional images of any particular piece, please email me. I'd be delighted to take some detail shots..maybe even drag them out onto the lawn into the sun for some "live" shots.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


This pre-cleaning view of the pool is becoming a tradition. The "after" pictures make me feel like a miracle worker...even if I'm only the team leader- I really couldn't do it without the help of my guys. My cheap thrill comes with the finally hosing and scrubbing when the blue is revealed.

Speaking of you think some very small bird might possible think this is a good place to make a nest? Maybe I should have made it in shades of brown.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday with NO WORK!

I was loose on the town yesterday with my buddy JR - (nobody went to 'mergency and nobody went to jail) but a good time was had by big stretch for the Easily Amused!

First stop was a revelation for both of us. While IKEA is inspiring, it's overwhelming. I come away from them thinking I need to torch my joint and start from scratch.

On the other hand, The Container Store in the Perimeter Mall area of Atlanta was great fun. With a focus on organization I actually came away with ideas for reorganizing the studio and a few closets. They also have tons of just plain fun stuff like these little clear acrylic boxes that I used to spend my lunch money on at Takashimaya in NYC. I'm sure I'll find a way to put them to uses other than mere eye candy. 

We went from there to Restoration Hardware where we were treated like invisible lepers. I imagine I could have jumped up and down on their 4000$ bed and no one would have mentioned it. We might have gotten away with taking that 8 foot Eiffel Tower right out the front door. hmmmf.

On to the Barnes and Noble next door to further expand our brains and shrink our wallets. Enough foot work for the morning; we saddled up and groped our way up county to the wilds of Roswell to find the elusive Lemon Meringue Pie at the charming PieHole in Roswell. No luck but plenty of tasty alternatives. JR has given up finding her favorite pie; they have a really short shelf life but still we ran wild and had dessert before lunch.

We got back on the road and set out to find the address of a radio station where I was to pick up  tickets to see Tom Petty that Jim won when he entered a drawing at Cool Ray park last week.  Severe lack of civic imagination has every other street named "Peachtree Something" or "Somebody's Ferry", so we wandered around lost for about an hour in midday Friday traffic. Phone calls from my husband and to the radio station were no help. Finally I asked JR if her new phone had GPS. She had no idea.

We pulled into a parking lot and poked at the thing for a few minutes trying to learn the function on the spot. The screen said "type or speak your destination"- in a stage voice I told it where to go. The screen went all fuzzy  and after a minute or so a tinny voice said "turn left onto Mt. Vernon Highway". Hilarity! Demon voices guided us straight to the place. I couldn't get over the notion that the car had been possessed. Really, we're not Luddites, just a little out of step.

The frosting on the cake of my day was being able to stay awake for the Braves home opener. The pajama seats were great and the boys saved the day by winning!  A day off like this makes working the weekend palatable.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I just can't help myself. This makes me want to get a really expensive tattoo. Almost.(photo by G.Mocafico)

It's clear to me why I find some of these so compelling.

and don't miss his Jellies!

back to work

Thanks to everyone who snapped up the offerings new to the store yesterday. Tomorrow is ship day!  I'm back to the ironing board this morning putting together some more burritos.

 I've been taking out tasty bits for my own stash all the along the way, of course, and notions are percolating but there is a huge backlash, mental and physical,  over  a squad of UFOs and total chaos in the studio.

We've had a room open up in the household recently and major reorganization is underway. I hate the process but love the outcome.
The reality show is called "Hellhole to Heaven".

Two links of note today. Serena is stash busting. I had momentary thoughts of how I could over-dye, discharge or otherwise torture some of her commercial fabrics but no, I'm already ducking calls from the producers of Hoarders.

And WARNING TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE SNAKES....don't go here and please note I did NOT post any of the fabulous spellbinding images here. . But if you don't mind them, here's an incredible site devoted to the photographic art of Guido Mocafico.  I'm completely absorbed with the idea of creating fiber art after one or more of these incredible images. I'm stoned by 16 and links..find your own bliss!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


It's a shop keeping day and I can barely break a  sweat in this chill that's come over the southeast. I feel for folks with tender plantings that may have been set out too soon - it might actually dip below freezing over the next few nights.Crazy!

I've been ripping and ironing all morning and have started putting together an entire alphabet's worth of cloth burritos for sale at Random Acts of Dyeness.

 Back to the iron! brrrrrr. Where's my hoodie?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

old discount day

Out putting my bizness in the streets today. Letting my freak flag fly and all. It's Tuesday! 25% off at the Goodwill and more at a few other local small businesses just for having lived this long. Someone with excellent taste in books left a ton a great selections for me to acquire for a pittance - books I should have read but never did, like the Great Gatsby and My Antonia by Willa Cather. Books I've been wanting to read but just haven't gotten my hands on like The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and Ahab's Wife...good stuff all.

Before I hit the road I decanted 20 mason jars full of cloth and spent dye right out onto the deck boards and left them to drain. When I got back everything got a heavy dose of hosewater. Two washer and dryer loads later there's  some spectacular new cloth. Tomorrow I will chase the morning chill hunched over the steam iron..nope, sorry, no early eye candy.

Monday, April 09, 2012

from the other brain half

I'm still tinkering around with the code for the gallery on my website. I've figured it out, I think. but the hard part is deciding which images to show and in what order. And then there's the  re-shooting to consider as some  really crappy pictures come to light.

It was a busy weekend with much more work than play and no holiday doings at all besides eating the bunny's ears.

there are  flower seeds in the ground now and another dozen mason jars with cloth and dye out in the sun until tomorrow.

I am bruised with second hand sadness. Someone I love is in pain from a broken relationship. Nothing I can think of to say makes any sense or difference  so I'll keep mum unless asked.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

web work - updated

I'm supposed to be redesigning my website but I keep getting sidetracked by the vast array of nuts and bolts that I've lost a firm grasp of - it's not like riding a bicycle - because it's been such a long time that someone has gone and reinvented the wheel.  Fiddling with graphics is much more rewarding. I've got the framework in place, now it's down to the dirty filling in all those forms when you enter a show. How's this for a's a real reflection of what I'm about artwise and lately.

(when I focus on the image on the right and synchronize my breathing with the critter's breathing a calm comes over me)

(the gallery viewer is a new tool that I have to learn before using. Imagine?! Maybe by lunchtime tomorrow I'll have figured it out. Right now I am cross-eyed and code crazed. and signing off. )

Friday, April 06, 2012

happy full moon friday

We probably won't get to see the full moon tonight - it's turned damp, overcast and cold, sweater and socks cold, so this will just have to do.

We don't celebrate the religious holiday around here but we never miss a chance for a little festivity. I will color some hard boiled eggs tomorrow.  A chocolate bunny might even find it's way into the refrigerator to be pecked at until gone.

I'm finally undertaking a complete redesign of my website. For those of you who write code  (or write anything for that matter) you know it means putting your head into the necessary place for a while and turning off all distractions or mayhem will ensue. See you after the weekend.

one down, eight to go.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

just desserts on opening day

I spent the morning ironing much of the recent dye batches and was once again reminded of the magic of this cloth - how the soft, fuzziness of machine washed and dried damask lies down under a hot steam iron and takes on a glassy iridescence.

Those pieces of silk came out gorgeous as well with no ironing called for.

This afternoon I'll be pulling some small corners and selvedges from this lot and packing them into a handful of crocheted cusspots. Tomorrow I'll photograph the stuffed lovelies and put them up for sale in the store.

I've taken my picks, of course, and there is a lot more cloth to be dyed.

In every dye adventure a treasure turns up. The kind you squirrel away and nip at, the kind that turns up in your work over and over.

 This is a large hand towel, damask and huck woven. It's sturdy and there's an '02 woven into it so I don't think it's vintage but the Hellenia Hotel  looks like my kinda place..hats off to the tourist who brought it back for me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

take me out

Last night the whole family went to a special game at the Braves minor league park. Most of the current major league team played against the best of all the Braves farm teams. I couldn't get over the difference in size and stature..the Baby Braves, as we call them, looked like rag tag teenagers which I imagine many of  them were. The recently retired and widely beloved Bobby Cox managed them. The Allstars beat the future stars 4-3 in a 7th inning rain out. I can't remember the last time I was caught in a spring downpour, the long walk to the car accompanied by the PA system cheerily broadcasting "Singing in the Rain". It was a very special night.

This morning I only had time to wash and dry the latest tasties from the dyedeck.  That blue is one of the pieces of silk!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

glory days

Nope, no hand rinsing for me today. I dragged the hose up onto the deck and gave this lot a heavy shower and there was almost no dye run off, as flagrant as I am with the stuff.

I actually ironed the two batches from yesterday and only a very few came back downstairs for re dyeing.
 So many goodies.

I found a large piece of silk that was a gift from my friend Anna. I forget the official name but it's smooth, slinky and shrieks when you rip it.  I snatched it into fourths the other day and Sweetie fell off the back of the couch with her hair on end and hit the ground running at the noise.

All I recall about dyeing silk is that it's vinegar and not soda ash that sets the color. We'll see what comes of this.

I reset the dyestock colors this morning, mixing colors that were very low and remixing some new ones. Topping off others with a little water. There are no labels on the bottles- it's all a magical mystery tour from here on in.

There's still a half bucket of smaller pieces of cloth waiting for color. I'm going to give them the pizza dough treatment in a little bit. Letting things soak overnight  is turning out better for me and the fabric.
I have to pace myself today or regret it. I'm off from the day job today because we are going to see the Braves play tonight at CoolRay Field. I could slave at the cloth in the sun til I drop but I really want to enjoy the evening without being exhausted when I get there.  The whole family will be attending, a rare and joyous event.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

super sunday

After three hours in the clutches of H+RB, it was a great day on the dyedeck - sails all spanking in the breeze and the pots aboil! Everything will stew in it's juices for the night serenaded by tree frogs under the waxing moon. Meself? collapse, after "the Killing" if I can stay awake that long.


Remember the magic sewing chair my husband found for my birthday?  I haven't been able to sit in it for a very long time.

Since I started working from home, I shuffled things around in the studio rather haphazardly sacrificing one half of the shortest wall to accommodate my day job computer set-up.Hateful but necessary.

The chair became a catch-all and was buried but worst of all, right next to it was a large basket of nasty tax papers sending out bad vibes like a box of radioactive snakes.

The rest of the papers are now boxed up and going to the tax pro in a few minutes. The chair is free and waiting for my return.

Maybe I'll catch a spring training game this afternoon and stitch on this one a bit. Whomever sent me those beautiful little indigo moons, please remind me so I can thank you. One of them is the star of this piece.